A&P strobe questions...

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by IntheWorks, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    so I've been doing a fair amount of portrait work lately, and I've found a new love for photography.. so I've decided that is the direction I want to go... so it only makes sense that I need to invest in some lighting. I'm looking at just starting off with one strobe, but I'm not sure which brand to go with... I hear good things about alien bee strobes, but also hear it's mainly marketing and you can get better for less...

    Anyone with experience in strobes want to chime in?
     
  2. hash browns

    hash browns lolcathlon champion OT Supporter

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    bzzzzzzzzzz
     
  3. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    norman, prophoto, white lighting is the upper end of AB, Calumet, blah blah. lots of good options.

    do you want a monoblock or powerpack with multiple heads? Basically, do you want the light itself to be bigger and plug directly into the wall or to have smaller lights, generally more powerful aswell, and plug those into a central power supply
     
  4. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    smaller light... central power, also want to take them on location, so I would need a power pack.
     
  5. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    For portraiture, you probably want at least two lights to do it right. I would definately look to make a decent investment in your lights if you want to do it right and plan for at least two.

    Then you need to decide whether you want a head and pack system or a monolight system.

    Head and pack systems are just that, seperate strobe heads that plug into a seperate power pack that is either battery or AC powered. These can be very flexible and you have the ability of running multiple heads off of one pack so you only need one outlet to plug into.

    Monolights have the power pack built into each head. It makes the heads larger and heavier and each one needs its own AC power source. Also, if you have to make adjustments, you often have to do it on the back of the head and if its high on a stand, it can be a pain.

    If you are serious, I would stay away from the ABs, they are ok beginner lights, but are just not built as well as many nicer systems.

    If you want a monolight system, consider the White Lightnings, the Hensel's and there are a few others.

    If you want a pack and head set, I really like the Dynalites for a fairly budget oriented system, or if you want to go whole hog, the Profotos are awesome.

    This is a great monolight kit from Hensel to start with if you want to do that:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=368141&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

    And if you want a good pack setup, I really like this one from Dynalite:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=220649&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

    Both have everything you need to start out.
     
  6. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    thanks for the info...
     
  7. mojito

    mojito New Member

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  8. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    :rofl: I'm on page 91 of that thread right now.. holy shit some of those studio set ups :bowdown:

    which John Eckert (JohnE on FM) does some serious work with alien bees... so I'm not sure what vwpiolot has agains them...
     
  9. SenenCito

    SenenCito OT Supporter

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  10. hash browns

    hash browns lolcathlon champion OT Supporter

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    how much power do you need ? you can use vivitar 283/285s ...
     
  11. SpiderOnTheFloor

    SpiderOnTheFloor New Member

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    I like my alien bees.
     
  12. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    AB's will work, but as Tits said the other day, they're the rebel of the lighting world. Better thigns out there, but in the end it'll still take the picture
     
  13. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    alien bees will be fine. If you are planning on dropping them alot don't get them, they are flimsy.
     
  14. I knew once I started showing my shit people woudl start getting da beezzzzzzzzzz

    :mamoru: jk :io:
     
  15. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    key word being shit.













    :o
     
  16. :hsugh: My shit > yours
     
  17. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    I don't have a slanty eyed setting in my camera unfortunately. I've shot circuit boards, thats about as close as it comes.
     
  18. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    ABs are an ok beginner light or for light duty work.

    However, like there are also some pros out there using their Rebels to good results, you can do the same with ABs, but its not necessarily the best choice if you are really going to use them extensively.

    First off, if they are going to sit in a studio all the time for standard portraits and you are never going to move them around, then the durability isnt as big a deal. If you are going to use them extensively and move them around, carry them out on site, and using them a lot, then the durability aspect can come into play. ABs are plastic, while better kits like the White Lightnings and Hensels are metal in construction.

    Also, you have to also look at the consistency of the light output. Better strobes will be much more consistent in the amount and more importantly the temperature of the light they give off. Every shot will be the same once you start shooting, you wont get any slight variences in exposure or color. The ABs have a 100w modeling light, the Hensels and many others have higher 300w modeling lights which can make them more effective when using them as hotlights. Hensels have a digital power adjusment in tenths of a stop which is extremely accurate.

    I dont have anything against the ABs, just as I have nothing against a Digital Rebel or a D50. However, if I'm starting a business or going to be working with gear seriously, I'm going to go for something that is designed for a more professional working environment than for a beginner. I'd rather buy once right the first time, rather than have to replace later.

    There are reasons things cost less than others. I have personally worked with White Lightnings, Hensels, Dynalites, Speedotrons and Profotos (which I ended up purchasing myself) and have been in a studio that had ABs sitting next to other higher end brands of lights and the difference in quality of a well made light and an AB is very obvious.

    I'm not trying to discourage anyone from an AB or put down anyone that uses them to good results. I'm just telling it like it is. If they were all anyone ever needed, then companies like Profoto and the others would be out of business cause everyone would own ABs. Just trying to point out the differences.

    Like I said, if this is going to be a fun thing that you may or may not stay with, then maybe the ABs are right for you. However, like I said in my first post, if you are going to be SERIOUS about this, you may want to consider another system that is designed for the serious photographer and will likely give you better performance over the long haul.
     
  19. I shoot with AB's, I never had a problem with them... I'm not super advanced with lighting so I'm doing fine with what I've got.. :dunno:

    For the money, I'd say alienbees "rebel" is definately the way to go. If you're just starting out and learning the ropes why would anyone need the 1dMKII of lighting?? :ugh:
     
  20. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    If you were just starting out being a sports shooter and might be out in inclement weather on a regular basis and traveling around with the gear and maybe getting run into or beat up...would you start with a Rebel?

    In the same thought, depending on his requirements and where he wants to go, lighting can be the same thing.

    Why would you specifically buy cheap because you are starting if you knew that at some point you would need/want better? Why waste the money early on?

    I dont like the argument "buy cheap you're just beginning." Why should it matter if I'm just beginning if I might need to replace the cheap stuff later. Buy right the first time and you will never lose out.

    ABs may be fine, but you cant deny differences and if there is any reason he might want better later, there isnt any reason to not buy it from the start.

    Sorry, I never buy the cheapest of anything anymore if its something I plan on using seriously, I've been burned too many times on cheap stuff in the past. I always buy the best I can afford and if I cant afford anything but the cheapest, I wait till I can afford something better.

    ABs work. But I'm sure that if you ever used a nicer light system you would immediately see the differences and understand.

    And BTW, what I suggested up there is more like the 30D of lighting and by the time you add all that is included in that Hensel kit, you will be close to a grand anyway and you will get more powerful lights with the Hensel.
     
  21. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    I know right now I'm on an AB budget, especially now that I just found out I have a little one on the way.
     
  22. Congrats, your first?


    I have a little boy age 3 (full italian like me) and a little girl age 2 (half korean :naughty: ).
     
  23. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    yep.. :noes:
     

  24. Prepare to kiss ass for the next 18 years :o

    You'll be lucky to keep your camera shit. I'm lucky enough to not be with my x blood suckers anymore, if they knew I had a nice camera and some other nice stuff they'd definately find a way to take it away.

    Did I mention I once had a nice lexus.... :wtc:
     
  25. SpiderOnTheFloor

    SpiderOnTheFloor New Member

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